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Before Pico… was Nicholas.


Philosophical Theology was already in place before Pico (who used the Neo-Platonic doctrine unity of opposites), least wise where Rome was concerned, despite controversies that had risen from thoughts of man. It would be more than a mistake… it would be an egregious mistake to presume Pico, single-handedly, had the wherewithal to bring unity back to Rome… or the Christian faith.


With some philosophers to rally for Pico (Giovanni Pico della Mirandola) [1463-94], and his effort to combine opposites: pagan and Christian, Moslem and Jewish, ancient and medieval, but the Holy See derailed his plan. Pico published his works, in Rome, called,’Conclusions (1486)’, and this was not regarded highly by the Pope- whereby,”On Being and the One”, was written in 1492. There can be many things stated about the medieval times or from philosophers found during these days; which caused many to be so influenced by their views… maintaining their sharing unto modern times. I can think of none better to share here with you than Nicholas of Cusa (1401-1464). There will be a certain degree of varying relevance to what any one philosopher understood but the viewpoint (and thoughts) is critical to how it should be viewed and applied.


[Below is an abstract from Christopher W Helton writing, entitled,”15th Century Florentine Philosophical Theology II (at LinkedIn)”, and one I disagree with]


Pico is trying to speak about God that does not succumb to Savonarola or Ficino’s problems; however, his way of speaking about philosophical theology to resolve the dispute between the One and ousia only creates another metaphysical controversy: pantheism. Ergo, late medieval philosophical theology, its epistemological distinction between scientia and opinio, its Aristotelian metaphysics are disintegrating due to these three 15th century Florentine thinkers with their philosophical theologies.


[Here are links for Savonarola and Ficino respectively.]


Instead, he wanted to convince people to use magic and Kabbalah in order to change themselves into angels [from #2 above… through the link to Pico].


To think of Pico alone, in regard to being and oneness, is to slight the difference of mind, or viewpoint, to the works of Nicholas. Furthermore, to realize what Pico had written before his latter work on ‘Being’ suggests he softened his views, toned them down, to appeal to the church more than in his earlier part of life- where being accepted, and causing continuity, was the last thing on his mind. As for Latin… scientia is knowledge, and opinio is opinion, i.e., Scientia est potentia… Knowledge is power.


[An abstract on thoughts of Nicholas below… found here.]


What is noteworthy are the flexible metaphors he uses as he moves across what we designate today as ontology, philosophy of mind and epistemology, and philosophical theology [from #2]. Here Cusanus addresses the four categorical realities traditionally found in Christian thought: God, the natural universe, Christ and human beings [from #2.1].


If Christopher is right, in his assertion, Pico was responsible for Florence and Rome to regain their composure after ‘one controversy’ of a metaphysical nature, then why was Cusanus already recognized by Rome in a favorable light and Pico was not? Was it due to his view of ‘Oneness’ was closer to how Rome understood it? See below…


Put in the language of the “maximum,” in God both maximum and minimum coincide in the divine infinite Oneness, for both take the mind beyond the measurable created domain of more and less and end up meaning just the “superlative” or transcendent. The implication, in other words, is that God’s reality lies beyond any familiar domain where the principle of contradiction holds sway.


Can it also be said, it would be of little or no consequence… the thoughts or opinions of man, in regards to the Doctrines of Rome (or Christianity itself), since Doctrines are not based on simply opinion or thoughts– for there is an evidentiary quality to the Declarations made by God for mankind to know of the veracity of the words found in the Bible.


[From this source, in PDF (also downloadable)… the Bible: its meaning and supremacy, Farrar, F. W. (Frederic William) [1831-1903], 1897, New York: Longmans, Green and Co., p 134]


“No consensus of popular opinion can have the smallest weight against the truths which heaven-directed advance of knowledge reveals.”